We report the first Bragg gratings fabricated by Focused Ion Beam milling in optical waveguides. We observe striking features in the optical transmission spectra of surface relief gratings in silicon-on-insulator waveguides and achieve good agreement with theoretical results obtained using a novel adaptation of the beam propagation method and coupled mode theory. We demonstrate that leaky Higher Order Modes (HOM), often present in large numbers (although normally not observed) even in nominally single mode rib waveguides, can dramatically affect the Bragg grating optical transmission spectra. We investigate the dependence of the grating spectrum on grating dimensions and etch depth, and show that our results have significant implications for designing narrow spectral width gratings in high index waveguides, either for minimizing HOM effects for conventional WDM filters, or potentially for designing devices to capitalize on very efficient HOM conversion.
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